Kinder's Air Evac Lifeteam now open

Published: Sep. 9, 2015 at 10:06 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 8, 2015 at 11:06 PM CST
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ALLEN PARISH, LA (KPLC) - Time means everything, especially in a medical emergency.

Air Evac Lifeteam operates 120 locations across 15 states - Kinder's base is their newest located off U.S. 165 just south of highway 383.

This new base will be able to serve Allen Parish and other rural parishes that surround it, totaling a service area of some 70 nautical miles.

Kinder's Air Evac Lifeteam base officially opened for business August 24.

"I'm the baseline pilot at Air Evac 125," said Kin Romas.

Romas started just Monday, but already staff is fully trained. Operational 24/7, they're on standby for any medical emergency call.

"I'll look at the weather and then if I can accept the flight, I'll tell them I accept the flight, then I go out," explained Romas.

While Romas is one of the responding crew members, Program Director Sandy Roberts says each aircraft is 'critical care' licensed - meaning, there's also a paramedic and nurse on-board.

"So you kind of provide the best of both worlds - the street training of the paramedic and the critical care hospital training of the nurse," said Roberts.

And while ground transportation is standard, in emergencies, time is critical.

"So being able to pick someone up and save 10-15 minutes are sometimes vital to save a life of a patient," said Romas.

No one knows that more than first responders in rural areas.

"It speeds up the transfer time for them to get here to package a patient and transfer them to a care facility that's better able to handle them than what might be locally," said Chief Les Kolb with Allen Parish Fire District 3.

Kolb says they utilize a few different air med facilities, "But now with Air Evac being the closest one to us, they can get to the people a lot faster."

And while the Kinder location has been open for just a short while, already they've had several calls.

"You know recently I just flew to St. Pats, picked up a critical patient and flew them to Rapides. St. Pats is like a 10 minute flight for us and Rapides is also about a 30 minute flight versus a ground ambulance," said Romas.

When asked if they could be making the difference between life and death, Romas said, "All the time, all the time. It's a very rewarding job."

Air Evac Lifeteam in Kinder is still hiring. Click here for more information on employment opportunities.

They also offer continuing education programs.

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